Sites that fail to load quickly could be about to get a badge of shame from Google, as the tech giant considers introducing a way to let its Chrome browser users know they are waiting longer than they should be.
In a blog post on Monday, Google emphasised its commitment to speed and moving towards a better and faster user experience for web users. Part of this aim is the proposal of “badging” to highlight websites with a tendency to load quickly or slowly.
In one example, the loading screen for a sluggish website features an exclamation mark on a red triangle, with the text “Usually loads slow” beside it.
The screen also features a loading progress bar, which is coloured green for sites that load promptly, and the possibility of a menu that gives users an idea of how long a site will take to load before they even click a link.
Google explains that it is looking in particular at sites built or authored in such a way that they perform slowly, and will monitor historic loading times in evaluating their speed tendencies. This may extend to guidance on how long a site is likely to take to load on a particular device.
The primary aim of the proposal is to deliver more transparency to Chrome users on page loading speeds, but a by-product of it is likely to be that owners of sites flagged as slow by Google will look into how to improve their speed, with users who might previously have persevered with slow sites now more likely to leave or avoid visiting them once presented with the badge.
Websites that load slowly often do so because they are poorly built or contain excessive branding that hinders the page speed. Flashy graphics might catch the eye, but with nearly two thirds of internet users not happy to wait more than five seconds for a site to load, they’re all but useless if they take too long. If you’re concerned that your site’s too slow, why not speak to Engage Web?